PTSD After a Vehicle Accident

When you hear the term “PTSD”, what do you think about? You wouldn’t be alone if you immediately thought of war veterans. Unfortunately, many veterans do live with post-traumatic stress syndrome, or PTSD. However, physicians and mental health professionals now recognize that PTSD doesn’t just affect those who have served in the military.

The American Psychiatric Association defines post-traumatic stress syndrome as a disorder that can affect people who have lived through various types of acute trauma, including serious accidents. For some people who have lived through a major automobile accident, PTSD becomes an unexpected side effect of their trauma.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress syndrome, like many mental health conditions, affects each person differently. However, common symptoms of PTSD for those who have lived through a vehicle accident can include insomnia or other sleep disturbances, anxiety and panic attacks, being nervous or startled while driving or riding in a vehicle, or actively avoiding triggers that remind them of the accident. For example, taking a new route home to avoid the street where the accident happened could indicate some residual trauma.

Symptoms of PTSD can occur immediately after the accident or arrive a few weeks, months or even years after the event.

What is the treatment for PTSD?

If you have been in a vehicle accident and feel you could be experiencing PTSD symptoms, talk to your physician. Treatment for post traumatic stress syndrome varies from person to person and could include prescription medications, counseling, or other therapy sessions.

In some cases, survivors living with PTSD may need to miss work time or avoid other situations where they feel uncomfortable or unsafe. This is just one way a serious vehicle accident can cause daily life to shift considerably.

If you have been involved in a vehicle accident that was not your fault, it is wise to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. At O’Brien Law, we advocate for all our clients until a favorable outcome is reached. Call us today to talk more about your situation.